As an old time soccer player, this time of year takes me back

Published 9:19 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Soccer is an interesting sport for me, personally. I grew up playing it every spring season up until tenth grade. Aside from baseball and golf, there isn’t a sport I’ve played more in my day. But after I stopped playing eight years ago, soccer fell off my map. I became interested in other things, and soon the only sport on my radar was cross-country.

Watching the Bearcats defeat Harris County Monday night brought me back to those days of kicking that black and white-patterned ball around. There were seasons where my team was good and I excelled. There were also seasons I want to forget because they were miserable and filled with losses. But soccer is a sport I have deep roots with, and it’s hard to ignore them.

Every four years my old love for the sport is rekindled when the World Cup starts. During the 2010 World Cup, my viewing environment spanned from watching the U.S. team from the living room of the kids I was babysitting at the time (I wouldn’t really call it babysitting when the kids are 10 and 12-years-old, I guess) to a packed-to-the-brim pub in downtown Athens called Globe. The World Cup is a fun time around the entire world, and I was right there in the mix.

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This year I’ll probably not be nearly as immersed with which teams are doing well or which players have the best stats. Though I probably will be freaking out over crazy goal highlights on SportsCenter, but those are hard for anyone to hate on.

During Monday’s game, The Bearcats scored some highlight-worthy goals of their own. A win over Thomas County Central Wednesday and a Hardaway loss would give the Bearcats the region title as they prepare for state playoffs next week. With a 12-1-1 record, none of the players and coaches should be disappointed with how the season turned out. It’s been a stellar season, and I’m sure playoffs will continue to prove that.

Soccer is back on my mind, even if I don’t play the sport nearly as much as I once did.